Today's Gospel: Luke 1:26-38 - Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe Out of curiosity, I looked up the topographical maps for Nazareth and Mexico City, the region closest to where Our Lady appeared to St. Juan Diego. Both are at similar elevations. It looks like both places are pretty rugged. Nazareth doesn’t appear to be quite as mountainous as Mexico, but both places look like they invite one to benefit from sturdy hiking boots over flimsy sandals. And yet, footwear in both places and for both Mary and Juan Diego was less than protective. They had to be tough, and yet both these people gave examples of humility, gentleness, acceptance, courage, generosity. What on earth does any of this have to do with today’s gospel and/or today’s Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe? We may find ourselves in difficult terrain. We may not understand why we’re not receiving the physical, mental, or spiritual equipment that would make our current terrain more easily navigable. We are uncomfortable. I don’t know about you, but when I’m comfortable, I’m prone to complaining and focusing even more on myself than I already tend to do. Mary and, like her, St. Juan Diego accepted the rough terrain of their lives and let it strengthen them, so that when God sent them messengers to ask them to do something for Him, they were detached enough from their own desires that they were willing to do the impossible.


What is one “rough patch” you are experiencing in the terrain of your life right now? How can you see yourself being strengthened through and for this?


Jesus, help me model my own life after Mary’s and her servant St. Juan Diego. Help me become strong in You so that, with Your hand around mine, I can climb whatever mountains You put in front of me.
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